By Rylie Smith, Team FSO contributing writer
PEORIA, Ill. — Several U.S. synchronized skating teams headed to Peoria, Illinois last week for the U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships, and history was made at the junior level as the Skyliners junior team won their seventh title.
They were previously tied with the Chicago Jazz for the most U.S. titles in history before breaking that tie at the 2023 championships. The Skyliners, out of the Skating Club of New York, have earned a top-three placement every season since 2015, and this season broke 200 with a total score of 202.03 and a flawless free skate.
“It means so much,” Catherine Tian of the Skyliners said about winning gold. “It’s what we’ve been working towards. It’s one of our biggest goals this season and I think also heading into Worlds with this confidence is really helpful, so we’re really happy about that.”
The Skyliners will compete at the ISU World Junior Synchronized Skating Championships in Anger, France, March 10-11.
The 2022 champions, Team Image, who trains in Hackensack, New Jersey, finished in second with their highest ever free skate and total scores at the championships. They earned 125.98 in the free skate for a total combined score of 195.50.
When asked if they felt the pressure being reigning champions, Jenna Reynolds of Team Image shared, “We definitely felt the pressure on us – just wanting to prove to everyone in the stands and everybody in U.S. Figure Skating who we are and what we can do was really awesome, and I think we did a great job doing that today.”
The Lexettes also earned their highest total score of 188.86, finishing in third place. The team, who trains at the Skating Club of Boston, will head to Angers, France for the ISU World Junior Synchronized Skating Championships alongside the Skyliners.
Teams Elite junior, of Northbrook, Illinois, jumped onto the podium to claim the pewter medal with a strong free skate, continuing their podium streak that began in 2019.
Senior Elite 12
Hayden Select, of the Skating Club of Boston, won the first senior elite 12 title as it was the discipline’s inaugural season at the U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships. The group broke 200 for the first time this season for a total combined score of 200.10.
Following the free skate, Hayden Select member Mikayla Sagle shared, “We were all pretty emotional going into it – excited to skate it, but also sad because it’s our last time as a team, so I think we all really poured ourselves into the program, and it worked out for us.”
The Crystallettes, previously a senior team of Dearborn, Michigan, earned the silver medal with a total score of 197.28, giving a strong performance in their first season competing senior elite 12. Team member Mackenzie Magliocco noted the team particularly enjoyed their free skate music.
“I think Christina Aguilera is pretty much all of our favorite artist. We really enjoy her. We went around the table at dinner the other day and this is one of our favorite long programs, so we really enjoyed skating to it. We’ve had a really good season so far because we really enjoyed our long program,” said Magliocco.
Synchro teams are comprised of 16 skaters. In senior elite 12, each team has 12 skaters.
U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships ended with the senior event where the Haydenettes added another win on their record, marking their 30th U.S. title and their 13th-straight win. They broke the record for the highest score in event history, reaching a huge 244.45 overall score.
They had two clean programs, earning positive GOE on every element with primarily all level four elements in their free skate.
Team member Cameron Feeley shared of the experience, “It’s incredible to be part of such a huge legacy. We feel grateful every single day to train with Saga and Lee and Ashley, all of our coaches, and work with all of our staff there at Hayden. We’re so grateful and we really worked super hard every single year so that we can maintain our championship title…We put out our best, so we’re very pleased with that.”
Miami University finished in second with a total score of 223.63, their best score at the championships. This was the club’s 21st collegiate national title. They were named to the Worlds team alongside the Haydenettes and will compete in Lake Placid, New York, March 31-April 1.
The Skyliners and Teams Elite senior teams finished third and fourth, respectively, and both broke 200. Teams Elite had a particularly impressive result as it was their rookie season against several well-established teams.
For full results, including results of the adult, masters, intermediate, juvenile, novice and collegiate events, click here.